Kenya athletics legend Paul Tergat officially launched his bid for the National Olympic Committee of Kenya presidency ahead of the May 5 elections during a function in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Tergat, a five time world cross country champion and one of Kenya's decorated long distance runners feels that change is needed at NOCK and that the time is right for him to take the mantle to lead the Olympics body.
“This is the time that I believe we should all pull together and find a new way of doing business. The sporting world is changing by the day with new technologies and advancements. Due to these changes, I do believe it is time for a young, dynamic leader to bring in fresh ideas.”
“ It is in that light that I am humbled to announce my candidacy today. As a member of the IOC, an Olympian and having been actively involved in sports, I believe that I have what it takes to lead heading into the future,” he said.
Tergat’s bid received a huge boost after he was endorsed by nine federations that will be represented during the elections.
They are Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Athletics Kenya (AK), Kenya Hockey Union (KHU), Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), Kenya Judo Association (KJA), Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK), Kenya Lawn Tennis Association (KLTA), Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA) and Kenya Shooting Federation (KSF).
Officials of some of those federations were present during the launch and vouched for the 2005 New York City marathon champion.
Tergat also had a memorable rivalry with Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie notably when bagged 10,000m silver medals at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games in a closely fought race.
KTTA Chairman Andrew Mudibo, who will vie for the post of secretary general, has been vocal in the fight for changes at NOCK and he is aboard the Tergat bandwagon.
“We have fought a huge battle to reach where we are today. It all started with adaptation of the new constitution which provides for fair representation. We hope that there will be a new dawn at NOCK because we want a fresh start with Tergat at the helm. The most important aspect for us will be the athletes and not the officials,” Mudibo stressed.
According to Tergat, his first agenda if elected is to ensure that the welfare of the athletes and players is fully addressed. This will ease their troubles before, during and after competitions. He hopes to build Brand Kenya in the sporting world under a new style of leadership.
Tergat also has a goal of expanding Kenya’s participation at the Olympics through setting up of programs that will promote various disciplines in order to place them as top contenders thus moving away from the traditional dependence on athletics as the primary source of medals.
He has set the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo as the benchmark and the 2024 Olympic Games as the defining stage of implementation.
Tergat is expected to be challenged by Kenya Volleyball Federation president Waithaka Kioni for the presidency with the incumbent Kipchoge Keino being locked out of contention under the guidelines stipulated in the new constitution as he is not affiliated to any sports federation.
Paul Tergat election team and aspirants President: Paul Tergat, First Vice president: Shadrack Maluki (KJA), Second Vice president: Jackson Tuwei (AK), Secretary General: Andrew Mudibo (KTTA), Assistant Secretary General: Francis Mutuku (KLTA), Treasurer: Elyna Shiveka (KHU), Assistant Treasurer: John Kameta (BAK) Committee Members: Catherine Ndereba (AK), Shuaib Vayani (KSF), Mureithi Nabea (FKF)